Anirudh Prasad with the volumes of Encyclopaedia of Jharkhand at his XISS office in Ranchi on Thursday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
It is a magnum opus of an answer for policymakers and academics puzzled by the enigma called Jharkhand.
Noted B-school and rural development cradle XISS-Ranchi has completed an 11-volume encyclopaedia that deals with various aspects of the state — society, economy, ethnic culture and politics.
Simply called Encyclopaedia of Jharkhand, the work will be ceremoniously released on Gandhi Jayanti, October 2. It has been priced at Rs 7,000.
Each of the 11 volumes is, well, voluminous, comprising 1,000 pages. Eminent scholars, including professors, vice chancellors, governors and bureaucrats from across the country have undertaken the meticulous research work.
The marquee of scholar-contributors is impressive.
It includes noted economist and one of the architects of MGNREGS Jean Dreze, noted scientist M.S. Swaminathan, sociologist Yogendra Singh, former governor of Karnataka T.N. Chaturvedi, former governor of Tripura Siddheshwar Prasad, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) director S. Parsuraman, renowned former bureaucrat N.C. Saxena, among others.
The varsities from where academics have contributed to the volumes include Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Jawaharlal Nehru University, TISS, among others.
The encyclopaedia deals with 45 themes. For each, several scholars have contributed their scholarly articles.
“We have chosen Gandhi Jayanti for the release as a good part of the project deals with Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of gram swaraj, rural happiness, prosperity, grassroots democracy and the like. The encyclopaedia will help students, policy makers, research scholars, politicians, bureaucrats and others understand the tribal state of Jharkhand and act positively,” Anirudh Prasad, professor of rural management and head of research and publication wing of XISS, who played a crucial role in the project, said.
Work on the encyclopaedia began way back in 2002.
“It’s taken us nearly 11 years to come out with 11 volumes. Extensive research and analysis have been lavished on each volume dealing with different themes related to Jharkhand,” Prasad said.
From empowerment of the weaker sections, small-scale industries and entrepreneurship development, economic reforms, land alienation, displacement and rehab, community health, nutrition and medical care; tribal haats and co-operatives and Hind Swaraj, to the dynamics of fiscal management, disaster management and community initiatives, livelihood promotion and food security and so on, the encyclopaedia has them all.
There are separate sections devoted to village management, climate change, migration and social development ethics, business and society; sustainable agriculture and food security; human rights, including that of children, women and Dalits.
“Since the corpus of work is based on empirical study, the encyclopaedia will help policy makers, governments and the corporate sector to come out with effective policies that fit the requirements of the region. Doctoral students can also refer to this work as a ready reckoner,” said Prasad.
Fingers crossed for October 2.
Which section of society will the comprehensive Jharkhand encyclopaedia benefit most?